Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Discussion On: The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Summary: After four years of serving in WWI, Tom Sherbourne returns home a broken man. He takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on the small, isolated island of Janus Rock, off the coast of Australia so that he can be alone with his thoughts. While visiting the mainland on one of his shore leaves, he meets Isabel Graysmark. She is young, and vibrant, and manages to make him smile through all his pain and loneliness. Tom and Isabel get married, and she follows him to Janus Rock. When Isabel finds out that she is pregnant, the couple is overjoyed. But, after two miscarriages and one stillborn, they are left in broken pieces.
One windy day following their recent tragedy, Tom and Isabel hear the faint cries of a baby. They discover that a boat had washed ashore, with a dead man and a newborn onboard. Tom, whose job is to report all incidents that occur on or near the island, wants to report the baby and the man immediately, but Isabel convinces him to keep the baby and claim her as their own. Two years later, they return to the mainland on a shore leave and discover that the choices they have made may not have been without consequences.

My thoughts: Stedman did a beautiful job in describing the world of Janus Rock. The imagery made me feel as if I was there on the island with Tom and Isabel and Lucy. The character development was also wonderful, because by the end of the novel, I didn't feel like these were fictional characters. I felt their joy and their pain, and it was as if I was just a quiet observer to their journey.

This was such a heartbreaking story. It reminded me that life is not just black and white, but that there are a lot of gray areas. It is a beautiful story about a parent’s love, and about sacrifice and forgiveness. This novel addresses many moral dilemmas and made me wonder what choices I would make if I were in Tom and Isabel’s shoes. Does it mean that I am a bad person if I agreed with Isabel on keeping the baby?
Before having my son, I had a miscarriage and it nearly tore me apart. I was devastated from the pain of losing a life that I had only begun to love, but also from the feeling that I had failed when so many other women were capable of having children. I was filled with so much anger and wondered what sins I had committed to deserve such a horrible punishment. The pain consumes you, and I definitely felt all of Isabel’s grief from losing her three babies.
The morally logical side of me knows that it was wrong for them to keep the baby, but that little girl brought so much life back into their hearts that I kept rooting for them and praying that no one would find out and they’d all live happily ever after.
Maybe I am just a very emotional person, but this novel was a total tearjerker. I was crying so hard at times that it was hard to read the words on the page. As a mother, the book really tugged at my heartstrings. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but reading this story made me love my son even more than I thought possible. I found myself creeping into his room while he was sleeping just to look at his sweet face. It made me appreciate so much being able to have this little boy who has made my heart swell as big as the moon.

Memorable Quotes:

"Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things...I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a proper job of hating, too: very Teutonic! No' - his voice became sober- 'we always have a choice. All of us."

“Izz, I've learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past.”

“They [the stars] just kept shining, no matter what was going on. I think of the light here like that, like a splinter of a star that's fallen to earth: it just shines, no matter what is happening.”

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bout of Books 10 Progress

Time to read, read, read! Here's where I will be tracking my progress for the week.

Monday 5/12 (day one)

Pages Read Today: 185
Total Pages Read: 185
Time Spent Reading: 2 hrs 30 mins
Books Completed Today: The Light Between Oceans
Notes: If I want to reach my goal of 1000 pages by the end of this Read-a-Thon, I will need to average about 143 pages a day. So far, so good! :)

Tomorrow I will be starting Fangirl. Hopefully I will get at least 1/3 of the way through.

Tuesday 5/13 (day two)

Pages Read Today: 82
Total Pages Read: 267
Time Spent Reading: 1 hr 10 mins
Books Completed Today: none
Book(s) Currently Reading: Fangirl
Notes: Day two progress wasn't as good...I was exhausted after dinner and fell asleep at 9:30, like the grandma that I am. :)

Wednesday 5/14 (day three)

Pages Read Today: 150
Total Pages Read: 417
Time Spent Reading: 1 hr 45 mins
Books Completed Today: none
Book(s) Currently Reading: Fangirl and A Storm of Swords

I'm really enjoying this read-a-thon because it's allowing me to set aside so much more time for reading. Luckily my little boy is consistent with his bedtime and I can start reading as soon as I put him down.

Thursday 5/15 (day four)

Pages Read Today: 141
Total Pages Read: 558
Time Spent Reading: 2 hrs 00 mins
Books Completed Today: Fangirl
Finished Fangirl today. I loved it! It was such a cute and quirky story!

Friday 5/16, Saturday 5/17, Sunday 5/18 (day five, six and seven)

Pages Read Today: 162
Total Pages Read: 720
Time Spent Reading: 2 hrs 15 mins
Books Completed Today: N or M?
Bout of Books 10 is over...and I didn't reach my goals. :( I thought I would get some time to catch up on my reading this weekend, but I had a packed schedule. I had my nephew's birthday party to go to on Friday night (only ended up reading about 20 pages that day), then I had to work Saturday and Sunday, so that didn't leave much time to read at all! At least I was able to finish the three books I had on my TBR list. Overall I really enjoyed this read-a-thon! Usually I only finish 1 book a week, so being able to read 3 books this week was awesome!

How did you guys do? Did you meet all of your goals?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bout of Books 10!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I've heard about the Bout of Books Read-a-thon from the BookTube community and it sounds like a lot of fun, so I've decided to give it a shot! I will actually be pretty busy this upcoming week with work and a lot of family functions, but since it's such a low key read-a-thon I figured, why not have some fun?!

So here are my goals for this read-a-thon:

1. Read 1,000 pages this week
2. Dedicate at least one hour to reading every day

And that's it...just 2 simple goals (uh yeah, we'll see...)

And here's what's on my reading list:

1. Finish "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman
2. "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell
3. N or M? by Agatha Christie

We'll see if I can meet my goals... 1,000 pages is pretty ambitious for me, since I'm a fairly slow reader, but I wanted to challenge myself just a little bit (or a lotta bit!). I'm super excited to be participating, though, and regardless of how much I will actually read, I'm sure it will be loads of fun!!

Are you participating in this read-a-thon? If so, what's on your reading list?

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Book Wishlist

Us booklovers... It doesn't matter that we have 2 huge stacks on our TBR shelf...we still want MORE books!

Here are the books on my current wishlist:


I really enjoy Sophie Kinsella's writing. When I want to just kick up my feet with a light, funny read I pick up a Sophie Kinsella novel. Her characters are likeable and the stories always makes me laugh.


I've heard so many good things about the Lunar Chronicles and I really want to see what the hype is all about. A cyborg Cinderella?? That alone sounds interesting!


I loved "Little Women" when I was younger and when I was browsing the bookstore the other day, I came across this book. It's written from the perspective of Mr. March, who was absent through most of "Little Women" because he was serving in the war. This sounds like another interesting read...Can't wait to pick it up!


I read the first book, "The Truth of All Things", which was a mystery surrounding the events of the Salem Witch Trials. It reminded me a little of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, but it was definitely an enjoyalbe little adventure. This is the second book following the same two detectives, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

What are some books on your current wishlist? Let me know...just in case I feel the need to spend more money on books!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Current Reads: May 2014

Hi, Welcome to my blog!

I've been intrigued by the book community here on the internet for awhile now, so I decided that I would start this blog to share in the obsession over books and reading.

Here's what I'm currently reading:

1. The Light Between Oceans: I purchased this book recently and was really intrigued by the plot. It also doesn't hurt that the cover is really pretty. :)

2. A Storm of Swords: This is the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire Series. I am about half way through the book (and really enjoying all the plot twists), but this is definitely a lengthy read (over 1100 pages!!)

3. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: This is a reread of one of my favorite Agatha Christie mysteries. It is our Monthly Book Read for our Agatha Christie Reading Group. You can join us on Goodreads.